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Braves handling Medlen different than Strasburg

Braves handling Medlen different than Strasburg

As the MLB regular season gets set for its final month, the Nationals and Braves are preparing for what should be an exciting two-team race for the N.L. East crown. But despite an expected close finish, the Nats maintain their plans to shut down ace Stephen Strasburg before the season ends. The Braves on the other hand, are deciding to continue rolling with Kris Medlen, another young pitcher who had Tommy John surgery towards the end of 2010.

Medlen has, however, pitched just 87 innings this season compared to 145 13 for Strasburg. The Braves started the right-hander in the bullpen which is why his innings total is so low.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Atlanta GM Frank Wren gave manager Fredi Gonzalez a choice regarding Medlen at the beginning of the season: start him in the bullpen and extend his season or begin with him in the rotation and risk having him shut down. The Braves reportedly would have stuck with a 160-180 innings limit if needed, similar to the Nats.

It presents a different scenario for the Nationals and teams dealing with pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery. For Strasburg and the Nats, the situation is much different considering the money and expectations involved. Medlen was not a former number one pick and at this point isn't expected to someday be one of the best pitchers in baseball. The Braves also already lost their ace pitcher this season when Brandon Beachy underwent Tommy John back in June.

The Nationals wanted Strasburg to begin this season like any normal starter would, with a full spring training and starts every fifth day. They had no intention of putting him in the bullpen and likely never considered it.

Time will tell which team, if not both, made the right decision. But nonetheless, the Braves are moving forward this year with Medlen and expect to have him for the pennant race and in the playoffs.

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2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

Back in the olden days, cotton candy or a plate of nachos were considered bold ballpark snacks. Thankfully, the olden days are over, and a new era of ballpark food has begun.

And in this era, a menu item isn't considered complete until it's fried, sandwiched between something else and then finally drizzled with some sort of sauce. 

So, what's on the menu for 2017? Well, peanuts, hot dogs and apple pie nachos, of course.

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

With a new season about to begin, CSNmidatlantic.com has identified 10 of the most eye-popping and artery-clogging foods available around Major League Baseball in 2017. To see them, simply click on the link above or below to open our gallery (no fork and knife necessary).

After all, while peanuts and Cracker Jack are cute, they simply can't match up with a hot dog topped with bacon and a fried egg. 

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

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Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team's opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation. 

Scherzer has been the team's starter on opening day for the past two seasons, but a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger caused him to miss the start of spring training, and the World Baseball Classic. 

Scherzer did, however, make his first MLB spring training start of 2017 on Wednesday. The 2016 NL Cy Young award winner allowed two earned runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He added four strikeouts and one walk, and reportedly looked just like you would expect from Max Scherzer. 

"To be out there competing, throwing all my pitches, throwing them for strikes, that's a great first outing," Scherzer told Eddie Matz of ESPN after the game. "Finger's good. Finger feels like a finger. I'm getting through that injury. It's behind me now."

With Scherzer set to open the season as the third starter in the rotation, that likely means that Stephen Strasburg will start on opening day against the Miami Marlins, and Tanner Roark will slot in behind him. 

While it's nice to have your ace pitcher starting on opening day, it's not a huge deal to have Scherzer start the season third in the rotation, especially because the Nationals starting rotation is the strength of the team

RELATED: Nationals' Tanner Roark pitches four scoreless innings to help Team USA beat Japan in WBC